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Art or Porn: Clear Division or False Dilemma?

By Hans R.V. Maes

Abstract

Art or Porn? The popular media will often choose this heading when reviewing the latest sexually explicit novel, film, or art exhibition. The underlying assumption seems to be that the work under discussion has to be one or the other, and cannot be both. I think this is a false dilemma. Against Jerrold Levinson and Christy Mag Uidhir, I argue that pornography and art are not mutually exclusive and that the phrase “pornographic art,” far from being an oxymoron, actually designates a legitimate artistic category. There is strong opposition to this view in the philosophy of art today. Both Jerrold Levinson and Christy Mag Uidhir have recently argued that pornography and art are mutually exclusive. So, my first task is to show that their arguments, though well-crafted and carefully formulated, ultimately fail

Topics: BH
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:kar.kent.ac.uk:31448

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Citations

  1. (2006). Alan Moore’s ‘Literary’
  2. (2009). Art and Pornography,”
  3. (1972). As quoted on the cover of the Erotic Classic edition of the book (London: Corgi Books,
  4. (2005). Erotic Art and Pornographic Pictures,”
  5. I wish to thank Peter Brems, Rafael De Clercq,
  6. (2009). Movie Yearbook
  7. Premise 3 is especially dubious. Works of art can have many purposes and it seems to me that not all of these purposes have to be manner specific.
  8. She also calls it “a form of hard-core art pioneered by such respected artists as Utamaro Kitagawa, Hokusai Katshushika, and Harunobi Suzuki”
  9. (2003). The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art (Chicago: Open Court,
  10. (2002). The Great Movies
  11. (1994). The Pornographic Imagination,”
  12. (2009). Uidhir, “Why Pornography Can’t Be Art,”

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